Sewing Corsets: Essential Techniques
Build classic corset-making skills as you embark on a sewing adventure with School of Sewing founder Alison Smith, MBE. During class, she'll show you how to create a corset that's perfectly structured to flatter the figure. You'll begin by learning how to pick the pattern, fabric and structural pieces that are important for this slimming garment. Then, Alison will share tips for a full-bust adjustment. Ready to give your corset structure and shape? You'll discover techniques for incorporating boning, busks and eyelets. Next, you'll see how to accurately stitch panels, join your corset and create channels for boning. Finish your corset by inserting steel bones, binding the edges and adding decorative trim.
Alison Smith is the United Kingdom's premier teacher of dressmaking, tailoring and corsetry. She is the first person to receive the award of Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to sewing and corsetry! Alison runs the School of Sewing and is the author of the best-seller "The Sewing Book," with more than 300,000 copies sold worldwide, as well as "Dressmaking Step by Step." Alison participates in many sewing shows and writes regularly for sewing magazines.
Materials: What you Need
Lesson Plan: What you Learn
Meet Alison Smith, MBE, founder of the School of Sewing, author and pattern designer. In Alison's expert hands, you'll learn about the structure of a modern Victorian-style corset, the fabrics and patterns to use, and how to adjust your pattern for a full bust.
The best fabric for a strong, secure corset is coutil. Alison guides you through cutting and marking your fabric with tips for handling coutil's dense herringbone weave. If your corset will have a decorative fabric layer, you'll learn to interface your fancy fabric or bond it to the coutil.
Corsets are constructed with panels joined in off-grain seams that must be accurately stitched. You'll learn to pin, ease and stitch your seams in your coutil layer, and manage the seams if you're building your corset with multiple layers.
Get started with corset "hardware" as you learn about the busk, or center front metal closure. Learn to insert the left and right sides of the busk so they match up perfectly with no center front gap, and how to safely topstitch the center front of your corset to keep the busk in place.
Make boning channels with center back facings and learn to install eyelets for a classic laced corset. With your eyelets complete, Alison shows how to lace ribbon or cord through them with "bunny loops" that will allow you to tighten your corset solo. Time for a fit check as it all comes together!
Alison shares her methods for felled-seam boning channels made with seam allowances and casings made from strips of fabric that can be decorative as well as functional. Bind your top edge, then learn about rigid and flexible steel bones and how to insert them safely and securely.
Finish your corset with a neatly bound lower edge and learn how to add an optional modesty panel behind the back lace for skin coverage and comfort. Then, add final touches such as lace or ribbon trim to complete your sensational modern corset!